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Predictors of Pregnancy Disclosure in DIII Collegiate Athletes.

CONTEXT: Pregnant athletes cannot receive proper care if they choose to conceal their pregnancy. Unfortunately, there are many factors that may lead an athlete to conceal. Whereas the extant qualitative literature suggests scholarship and sponsorship are prominent factors in the decision to disclose, this research is limited to elite athletes.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the current study was to quantitatively examine predictors of pregnancy disclosure beyond scholarship and sponsorship in DIII college athletes.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Midwestern United States.

PARTICIPANTS: Athletes on DIII women's sports teams (N = 127).

MEASURES: Confidence in the AT, perceived training and performance changes, athletic identity, and athletic identity during pregnancy. Two separate multiple regression analyses were conducted with the four predictors and two outcomes: likelihood to disclose and time to disclosure.

RESULTS: Confidence in the AT and athletic identity during pregnancy were significant predictors in both models, whereas the variable of perceived training and performance changes was only significant in the likelihood to disclose model. Athletic identity was not a significant predictor in either model. Results suggest DII athletes believe they would be more likely to disclose their pregnancy and may disclose sooner if they feel that their AT can properly manage their physical, emotional, and social wellness during. Additionally, disclosure is promoted if they believe they will still be viewed as an athlete by themselves and the people around them.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings emphasize the importance of the role of the AT, with implications that formal education of ATs should include the holistic support of the pregnant athlete.

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